Such an easy thing to say, I am sorry, yet it is something that I think that a lot of father’s fail to say to their kids.
This past week, I had dealt with some issues at work, my wife’s car accident (that in and of it’s self will be a future blog post), knowing that my grandfather is dying, etc. and I’m not going to lie, I really struggled. I really struggled doing and saying the right thing because I wasn’t able to rest and I wasn’t able to deal, I was just going through motions.
So this week as I was putting the boys to bed, I was exhausted and I had zero patience for any messing around. And of course, that was the night that as I put the boys to bed, Boy A was ready to struggle. He whined, he cried, he fussed, etc and I had no patience for it and I got on him. I raised my voice and told him to knock it off.
So, why do I write this about say I am sorry? Easy, two weeks ago, my father for one of the first times told me that he was sorry. The words “I am sorry” came out of his mouth because I said that in my 41 years of my life, he had only cried in front of me 5 times and that he had told me that it was wrong to cry. But this time, he had a different story to tell. This time, he admitted, it was ok to cry. He said it was ok to say the words “I am sorry”.
My wife came up that night, as she could tell that I was loosing control and losing it quickly. She came up, laid down with our son, Boy A and got him to sleep. As she was rubbing his back, she was rubbing mine, as she knew that EVERYTHING from the previous weeks was coming to a head for me. But she also realized that I needed a break.
As I gathered my things after both boys were asleep that night, I said the following words “I am sorry” in my son’s ears. But that wasn’t enough. See, that was enough for me to go to sleep, but that was not enough for me to make amends. Growing, I was on the other side. I was the one going to sleep upset. I was the one going to bed being yelled at. I said what I needed to, knowing that in the morning, I needed to say more.
This is what separates me from my Dad and it is not a negative against him at all, but is more what I have realized that I needed to do as a father, learning from his mistakes. So as my son, Boy A, woke up this morning, I grabbed him and hugged him as tightly as I could and whispered that I was sorry and we hugged.
I was wrong. I was wrong on so many differently levels. I was wrong because I took out on my son, my frustrations of life because he didn’t goto bed as quickly as I thought he should. And the key phrase there is “I thought”. I thought that he should goto bed as soon as we were done our nightly routine. I thought that he should goto bed as soon as I was ready to goto bed.
But what I realized was, he wasn’t ready and I was wrong because I didn’t give him the opportunity to decompress for the day. I did not ask all the questions that he had for the day or all the different questions he had for the day. And what I realized as I left their room, was that was how I felt as a kid.
AND I WAS WRONG!
No, I WAS SORRY!
I was sorry for every making my sons feel the way that I did. I was sorry for dismissing their questions and needs, because I was tired and frustrated and wanted a glass of wine. I was wrong! But I made it right. I explained to both of them where I was wrong in my ways. I explained that I should have had more patience. And I encouraged both of them that when it is time for them to be father’s, to be a better Dad, than I am to them.
Does that mean that they will not fail? Nope. They will. Does that mean that they will not have to use the phrase, “I am sorry?” Nope, because, they will. But if they can learn from me, if they can learn from my mistakes, if they can see that I tried to be the best dad that I could for him and still had short comings, then it gives them something better to strive for.
So to my sons, I am sorry. I have tried to be the best Dad that I can and will continue to do so. But, I will make mistakes. I will fail. But, I will say I am sorry, because, I will be.